When I was young, a child in the 70s, I used to watch films, television and theater. Because of those actors, those unique, talented and trained actors, I became one, too, as did all those from my generation, the early 70s. TV was our baby sitter, our teacher and our outlet into Hollywood as well as the movie theaters. Programming was limited then. But one thing I remember, something I also trained for was this: talent. I always thought someone in a famous position should have talent, the skill to actually act, had trained formally and earned their chops in the theater. Now, if you happen to look a part, maybe sort of, why, you're in. Add some special effects, costuming, fast editing and that seems to be all it takes to be an actor in Hollywood, male or female. Special skills are a thing of the past. Theater performances seem irrelevant. Why, then, do people become actors today? Judge Judy made me really think about her use of the word "disservice". That is a very big word she used. If one thinks of how many actors are making major money compared to the amount of real talent out there, one can define disservice. Judge Judy was quite correct, what are these people doing? Further, what are most talented people doing? They are not given breaks. They are not even being considered. They are not being cast frequently enough. What has the standard become? Being pretty or handsome and being able to shake your body? Whatever happened to being a character, to telling a story? Why do we have all these gun movies? I have never ever seen so many gun movies. Now I know why. Those add to the overall disservice of talented people. Take away the guns from the movies and you have a group of talentless people with nothing to do. That explains a lot about these violent trends.
Disservice to the acting community is showing. Go to the video rental stores and see what you want to rent. Hardly anything. Why, there are so few great stories out there that studios are distributing TV shows as video rentals!!! Whoever heard of that? Another irony is that Arnie Schwarznegger himself has kept production in California, proclaimed his deep devotion to the Americans as "keeping American films at home". I wonder if that had been applied to him, he would never be where he is today. Is that not hypocritical? Arnie wasn't even born an American, without that international break he would have been nowhere today. So is Arnie's message adding to the disservice of talentless people?
Let us look at Hollywood North, the place I trained and dreamed of being an actor, Vancouver. Because of Arnie's decision coinciding with the BC provincial government's elimination of a film tax credit for foreign work in addition to our own tax department double taxing Americans, it is no wonder every actor, director, editor, writer, studio, photographer, model, service-related industries, etc have gone belly up. Canadian actors wonder if there is even tape in those video cameras as they audition because all the parts cast in Vancouver always seem to go to an American although there is this great hallubaloo about seeing Canadians. This is the current gag amongst the Canadian actors, American producers are pretending to audition them, they are not watching their tapes and they have zero consideration for huge parts.
Then there is Arnie Schwarznegger demanding American work stay at home. Canadians aren't that stupid. We work so very very hard to make anything happen. Our country doesn't support our artists, only political correctness. So a Canadian's only option is to try where it counts. But how can we when we are subjected to this disservice?
Further, it is disheartening to see very talented Canadians audition time and time again only to be not cast. A fellow friend of mine was actually hired in a US national (a $ 40,000 gig after being out of work for 3 years because of the film and studio bankrupcies) and was fired. Do you know why? They put an American in the role and that actor happened to be fired the day the union office was closed. Boy, that really works for the Americans, doesn't it? Talk about disservice!!!
My point is that acting has become appropriated, isolated and not what it is, a true craft. Actors were never supposed to be good-looking and beautiful, they were supposed to be able to act. Our era gave us hope, ie, after being formally trained we thought some country might give us a break, like with Arnie, like with many others. But even those instructors who taught old school ways are long gone. The acting business has become a disservice to all actors around the world. When I hear about American casting calls in Canada I get a horrific taste in my mouth. I, long ago, having hated the treatment and obvious exploitation of Canadians dropped out and did my own thing. That's how I coped. But others have stuck to it, only to see them do what people do when they can't do their work, go insane. Thanks Arnie. Thanks Judge Judy for pointing that out, you clever woman you. Disservice. That says it all.